Diesel Vs. Gas: What Are The Main Differences?

There is a long debate about which is better, diesel or gas. Both are readily available to consumers at the pump but have you ever wondered what the difference is between diesel and gas?

Many people have oftentimes mistakenly thought the diesel simply contained more oil than gasoline. That is not entirely true; there are many things that make diesel different from gas.



Gas is a crude oil that has been highly refined. The refinement makes it suitable for gasoline powered engines as it makes gas more flammable. Diesel is the by product of refined gas. It is the leftovers when the gas has been refined. Diesel takes a less complicated process to make.



Gas will combust, or ignite, using spark plugs. Gases will combust at a much lower temperature than diesel, making it more volatile and flammable. Diesel combusts are a much higher temperature and it does not require spark plugs.

For diesel to combust, air and fuel combine in a tightly compressed mixture that raises the temperature in the combustion chamber until the mixture explodes.


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One of the big differences that you will notice is the difference at the pump. Consumers in the past paid a lot more for diesel fuel than for regular unleaded gasoline.

It seems nowadays that while diesel is still usually higher, the price gap has closed considerably. Diesel prices also remain steadier than gas prices which tend to fluctuate noticeably within just a few days time.




  • Less refinement
  • Highly refined
  • Cheaper to produce
  • Costly to produce
  • By product of refined gas
  • Crude oil that has been highly refined
  • Less flammable
  • Highly flammable
  • Combustion chamber is used to ignite diesel
  • Spark plugs are used to ignite gas
  • Usually cheaper at the pump for consumers
  • Usually noticeably unstable at the pump for consumers

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